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High Altitude Society: Living at Your Peak presenters come for cycling race

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily
ALL |

When the USA Pro Challenge cyclists came rolling into the area on Thursday like a steam train, it was evident that we had greatness in our midst. The peloton whirred by thousands of spectators, visitors and local residents alike. Among the many people in the crowd were nutritionist Dr. Allen Lim, cyclist Freddie Rodriguez and long-distance runner Uta Pippig. These three stars in the health, fitness and elite-athlete worlds are returning to the Vail Valley in mid-September as presenters for the Living at Your Peak summit.

“I hand-picked every presenter not only on their incredible accomplishments but on who they are as people, as well,” said Living At Your Peak organizer Jamie Stone. “They are engaging and thoughtful leaders in their fields who are able to really connect with people. It’s all about sharing. That’s what Living at Your Peak is all about and how it came to be.”

On Thursday, we talked to sports nutritionist, physiologist and training scientist Lim, whose company, SkratchLabs, makes delicious nutrition products that are designed to optimize performance and health for sport and life, as well as world cycling champion Rodriguez, right after he finished Stage 4 of the grueling 2012 USA Pro Challenge.

Vail Daily: What made you say “yes” to Jamie Stone when she asked you to be a presenter at the Living at Your Peak summit here in Vail, and who would you like to meet/network with?

Dr. Allen Lim: Jenna Wolfe (NBC correspondent and co-anchor of “Weekend Edition”) will be moderating my session, and tennis star Martina Navratilova will be there. Obviously, those two individuals alone will make it worth my while to be up there and learn from them. I feel really honored because it is going to be a huge educational experience for me to be around these people. It is always a way to raise your own game and look at the possibilities in a different way.

VD: What take-home messages might there be from Living at Your Peak?

AL: We are a very polar society. We want immediate gratification, and at the same time, we do understand the need for hard work. So how do we balance out that sense of delayed gratification or will power with immediate gratification? I think that in the end, what I find is that it creates a culture where we are willing to do whatever it takes, and while that is great, we often lose balance. How do we do whatever it takes to be successful and make our world a better place, without missing the whole point of living in it and enjoying ourselves? Ultimately, I work in a world where we push ourselves to the point where we break ourselves. I struggle with that all the time. I am hoping that this talk at Living at Your Peak could be a platform for me to even understand why I do what I do.

VD: So, it comes down to balance?

AL: It’s either balance or the acknowledgement that there is none and burn until the candle is out and live as hard as possible because unless you are uncomfortable, you will never become better. Life isn’t comfortable, and we have to be happy in that discomfort.

Vail Daily: You have three young children and a wife at home. How do you balance family and your racing career?

Freddie Rodriguez: A big part of my not racing in Europe is my family and balancing out my life. Yes, I am here and these are some of the highest-level racers in the sport, but I am not doing the European races.

VD: You won a stage in the Giro Italia?

FR: Yes, in 2004, right before my son was born. Now, after this race, I head home to see his first real soccer league game.

VD: Why did you agree to be part of Living at Your Peak and leading a ride with 20 lucky individuals?

FR: I like the idea of what Living at Your Peak means, the whole idea, the whole envelope of what makes people successful in life. Even though I am a very driven athlete, I am always trying to find that balance. I am not willing to lose my family for my sport. I am not willing to miss out on doing great things with my kids to train 110 percent. So it’s a balance for me. In that, I may have lost a little in results, but I have also gained big in my life.

VD: You started the Fast Freddie Foundation to help support young cyclists in achieving their goals in cycling and beyond. You believe that education and community responsibility are key to achieving success, both on and off the bike. Can you say something about the future of cycling?

FR: My wish is that cycling was like any other scholastic American sport. You race for your high school team, you race for your collegiate team, and if you are still that good, then you can go have a career in racing. The question is, how do we transition our sport to a scholastic sport like any other American sport?

Betty Ann Woodland writes about events, causes and happenings in her column High Altitude Society. If you have an event that you need covered, contact

highaltitudesociety@vaildaily.com.


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